Filled with rich visual imagery in miniature art style, Bihar is a tale of rise, fall and redemption in architect-writer Gautam Bhatia's new graphic novel, Lie: A Traditional Tale of Modern India.
'If good politics is about governance, how can a minister inaugurate a speedbreaker when people do not have enough food? Or a conference on drought degenerate into a debate over wines among the delegates?' Bhatia told IANS in an informal chat, explaining the context of the book. 'We live a pack of lies in our daily lives,' said the self-depreciating architect, who is 'now busy designing two ugly buildings in the capital'.
Bhatia conceived the illustrations, which have been executed by miniaturists Shankar Lal Bhopa, Birju Lal and Ghansham, modelled on 17th and 18th century Rajasthani miniature paintings. 'I wanted the figures on a flat two-dimensional plane where everyone looked very strong and bold. It is part of the Indian miniature tradition. I had to learn to work with the style in which the colours appeared shorter. It was difficult,' Bhatia said.
He is known for his funny and satirical stories woven around architecture. His latest book developed from a graphic art project on contemporary Indian social realities, Desh Ki Awaaz, supported by the Ford Foundation, two years ago.
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